As anyone who knows me at all well can tell you, I am not a morning person. I have nothing against the morning; I just prefer to see it on my way to bed. Despite that strong preference, however, today, on a Saturday, when I normally sleep for most of the day, I arose after three and a half hours of sleep to head to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. PT was having a volunteering day, and I wanted to participate.
After an hour of standing and listening to two folks train us, we went to work. Our group included some folks from PT, some family members of PT staff, and many more people from other volunteer groups. We collectively numbered over 30. Our job was relatively simple: to convert boxes of donated food into boxes of food sorted by type (e.g., water, other beverages, dry packaged food, and so on).
We started with many pallets of unsorted donations, and we ended with many pallets of sorted food ready to go to groups to feed people, as well as a lot of trash. A lot of trash. I made only two trash runs, and I dumped well over 400 pounds of garbage.
I started as one of the people who was sorting food, but in less than five minutes I had become a runner, someone who moves full boxes from a work table to a pallet. I spent a bit over two hours moving full boxes, taking out trash, and, near the end, picking up and stacking empty pallets.
When you look the way I do, people always end up asking you to lift things. I have a peasant build, and I spent a lot of my teen years doing jobs that involved lots of lifting and carrying.
When we finished a little more than three hours after our start, we had assembled about 10,500 pounds of food ready to go to people. The Food Bank folks said that would translate to over 8,500 meals.
That's pretty cool. Helping feed people is a good thing.
I'm glad I did it. I'm also glad for the reminder of why I went to college and why I am always happy that I am fortunate enough to work in air-conditioned offices.